Flying Shmuck

Not just for athletes anymore.
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Denver may be a mile high, but there must be something in the rarified air above us that drives people to do, well, shmucky things.

Take New Yorker Christina Elizabeth Szele, 35, who hurled racial epithets and punched a flight attendant who tried to stop her from smoking on a June Jetblue flight that had to be diverted to Denver. Szele, a previous Shmuck of the Week, will now spend some time in a local halfway house.

And then there’s 29-year-old Ezra James Wallace, who was charged this week with assault aboard an aircraft during an August 1 San Diego-to-Denver flight.

The U.S. attorney’s office, which also dealt with the Szele case, says Wallace used athletic tape to tie the hands of a 16-year-old girl sitting next to him and tried to do the same to her sister. He also tried to take pictures of girls before the flight took off, according to reports. A flight attendant eventually intervened and moved the girls to a different row.

Wallace, of Denver, who supposedly drank a half-pint of vodka before the Southwest flight, said he was drunk at the time, but that it was all in good fun. He also showed the girl his skateboard, which he had carried on board.

A 29-year-old skateboarder is shmucky enough. So leave the vodka and tape at home.

For previous Shmucks, see our Shmuck of the Week archive.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.